21 March, Macbeth Acts 2-3

Housekeeping: Calendar Change

Part I: Secondary Articles and Annotation

  • 1.Review Blog Post and Paper Requirements
  • 2. Log-in to the MLA database
  • 3. Find an article on the play you chose and one of the possible topics: animals, posthumanism, human, nonhuman, staging.

Part II: Discussion

1.What is the significance of the floating dagger (2.1.32-40)? Why Macbeth can see it but not touch it? In what way is the dagger similar to the prophecies?

2.What is the relationship between sleep and death in Macbeth? For instance, Macbeth says that he heard a voice cry, ”Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep” (2.2.33-34); Lady Macbeth says “The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures” (2.2.51-52); and Macbeth says of the knocking, “Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou couldst” (2.2.72). How do the Macbeths’ musings on sleep in 2.2 anticipate the alarum raised when everyone discovers Duncan has been murdered in 2.3?

3.How do you think Shakespeare and his contemporaries staged the blood?

4.Why stage MacDuff and Lennox’s entrance to Macbeth’s castle as passing through the gates of Hell? Is Macbeth’s castle really a place of torment and punishment?

5.What sort of night have MacDuff and Lennox passed through (2.3.50-56)?

6.Which characters’ description of the murder scene is the best?

7.How does Macbeth persuade the Murders to kill Banquo? What goes wrong during the murder?

8.Is Banquo’s ghost real or a figment of Macbeth’s imagination? What difference does it make?

9.Are the Macbeths good hosts, why or why not? Let’s watch the Banquet scene at 3.4. Macbeth (2015) with Michael Fassbender and the Patrick Stewart version.

10.Why do so many unnatural things happen in 3.4?

11.What’s the goal of Hecate’s monologue and why is it in different meter?

12. What separates humans from animals in this play?




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